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What happens when you combine a bored university student, a notebook with the ability to kill, and one of the best detectives in the world? One kickass show.

Entries for the Japanese live-action film series go here.

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  • "I've won. Just as planned." It was so awesome it caused Memetic Mutation.
    • Followed by him explaining every detail of his memory gambit in perfect detail, then threateningly thinking "You're next" about L after killing Higuchi.
    • To elaborate, Light gives up the Death Note to a third party (Higuchi), and as a result of giving up the notebook, loses his memory of using it and being Kira. Light then works with L to capture Higuchi and retrieve the Death Note, his memories returning once he holds the Death Note again. Using a piece of the Death Note hidden in his watch (a graduation gift from his father) to kill Higuchi and reclaim ownership of the note. With this plan, he's integrated himself into L's circle of investigators and earned their trust, making it all the more easy to kill off L.
  • He gets another one for outdoing L during his Memory Gambit. First, he's the one who finds the data pointing to Yotsuba's guilt, which the Yotsuba members themselves thought was impossible. Then in a later episode, after watching the Yotsuba meeting, L is prepared to allow innocent people to die just to get evidence on them. Light then comes up with a brilliant bit of Xanatos Speed Chess: He calls up Namikawa (having deduced he likely isn't the new Kira), flawlessly manipulates him into switching sides, and gets him to delay the killings long enough for the task force to get evidence. Even L acknowledges it as awesome. It really just hammers home that Light truly could have been a worthy partner for L if he just could have gotten over his god complex.
  • What about Light using a murderous bank robber, exploitation of the Death Note rules, and even Ryuk himself in order to find out the name of the person tailing him and then killing off the entire FBI task force by manipulating said tail. Long term, it was a huge mistake on Light's part but overall still worthy of a Moment of Awesome.
    • When that tail's fiancee is about to reveal something crucial to the Kira Investigation, and has given Light a false name, Light's calm exterior and quick planning are impressive.
    • The fact that the Live-Action Adaptation completely changed the Misora scene was initially disappointing, but after The Reveal it felt right and showed Light just as much a genius, just as manipulative and evil.
  • Light takes a potato chip... AND EATS IT! OK, Memetic Mutation aside, the reason for that scene was nothing less than awesome. L has just put video cameras in Light's room; if the killings stop while he's under surveillance, that's some pretty damning evidence that he's Kira. To get around said surveillance, he uses a food-sealing machine to seal a mini-TV into a bag of chips, allowing him to continue his clandestine killings/keep L guessing.
  • The most awesome moment for Light, of course, is when he manages to eliminate two of the biggest threats to him (at the time) in one single go—he manipulates Rem, a Shinigami who absolutely despises him, into killing L on the pretense that Misa being in L's custody puts her in mortal jeopardy. Since Rem did it to protect Misa, she herself is killed for violating the rules of the Shinigami, and Light is free and clear.
    • As a little reminder, Rem is a shinigami - a God of Death. And Light killed her. He killed a God of Death. Rem's final thoughts are acknowledging how Light has bested her.
  • Light at episode 26 when he says that he will build a new world and start killing people with the Death Note. The music on the background plus the scenes that made it seem like an orchestra was pure awesomeness.
  • Light's awesome final speech. His voice actor just put so much emotion into it.

  • L using a prisoner sentenced to die to pinpoint Kira's location within the Kanto was jaw-droppingly awesome. This is the first thing we see that really makes our favourite Villain Protagonist mad, and sets the tone for their relationship to follow...
    L: To be completely honest with you, I never expected that things would go this well, but it won't be too long now before I am able to sentence you to death... Naturally, I am very interested to know how you are able to commit these murders without being present but I don't mind waiting a little bit longer; you can answer all of my questions when I catch you. Let us meet again soon, Kira.
    • That was probably the Crowning Moment of Awesome of the series. Seeing L make his grand entrance by wiping the smug smile off of Light's face and then thoroughly owning him on national television was incredibly satisfying. But then again, so was seeing Light being reduced to fleeing from a warehouse whimpering and sobbing and riddled with bullet holes...
    • To add to this, not only was L's deduction of pinpointing Kira's location in Kanto awesome, but as soon as he began to pace together several clues from Light's pattern, he flat out already pin points Light as Kira. While you could say that still doesn't fit since L constantly needed to find ways to prove that Light was Kira, he continues throughout the show before his death saying Light is Kira. Considering how the manga and anime end with Light exposed and later on shot repeatedly by Matsuda and his last vision before death was seeing L in front of him makes it more satisfying.
    • His entire speech to Light after Light kills Lind L. Tailor. Now, that is how you introduce a character.
      L: But I assure you, L is real. I do exist. Now... try to kill me!
    • L also boosting Light to kill him also is awesome as he is begging Light to kill him to even taunting him. As it confirms to L that he can't kill just anyone and Kira has to follow a set of rules.
  • He gets another one when he meets the investigation team face to face for the first time. After a moment, they all introduce themselves by name. His greeting: Points finger like a gun at head investigator. "Bang. If I was Kira, you would be dead now. Please be more careful."
  • "Hello-Kira-Task-Force-Hotline-this-is-Suzuki."
  • L introducing himself to Light. Light's Oh, Crap! reaction, although delayed, is priceless. In effect, by introducing himself to Light in person as L he's painted a target on Light's back. If L dies, Light is a prime suspect since he knows L's identity. Light can't even be sure if it's really L since he could be using a body double again. Furthermore, this gives L the chance to better investigate Light. Light acknowledges it as a good move both offensively and defensively.
    • It's also the first time the audience ever sees Light actually angry - even Ryuk comments on how rare it is to see him fuming.
  • While L and Light are mentally sparring shortly after L introduces himself, Light starts to get quite confident he's easily evading L's attempts to make him slip and look suspicious until L nails him about the meaningless taunt he'd sent L by controlling people.
    Light: But if there were only three, my analysis was perfect.
    L: Not so. It is only perfect if you predicted the existence of a fourth message. But Yagami-kun, you were so sure there were only three messages, so it's inevitable that you didn't consider the possibility of a fourth.
    Light: (Thinking) ...You son of a bitch.
  • Episode 15: Light realises that if he phones Misa, he has won - gloatingly he dials... only for L to nonchalantly answer her phone just down the path from him. Cue much grinning from the viewing audience.
    • Even better: Light decides to call Misa on her other phone, only for L to tell him he's taken Misa into custody because he suspects her as the second Kira. Cue Light having a freak out and the audience grinning even more.
  • Kicking Light in the face. And then he resists Light's next punch, before turning it on him with a spinning kick. Particularly awesome given that L didn't seem like much of a physical threat until now.
  • L putting at least a dozen sweets on a spike dipping them in more sugar and then offering it to someone.
    • Pretty sure this one only happens in the live-action version. "Donut kebab?"
  • After Soichiro confiscated Kira's tapes and was on the phone with L. L tells him to hold, holds up the other phone he's talking on, and proceeds to Xanatos Speed Chess their way out of a very sticky situation. Not a particularly big one, but, more than the actual Xanatos Speed Chess, was just seeing L with the two phones.
  • L explains that "if you know how to do it right" you can eat anything and stay in good shape. That's right, L is so friggin' brilliant he can even outsmart his food.
  • Yagami if I die in the next few days your son is Kira...mmm, another hair.
  • L gets another Moment of Awesome, but it comes after you've seen the whole thing and realized that while Light may have lived to the end, it was L who knew his limits as a human being, and prepared for his death accordingly by appointing apprentices. Crazy-Prepared anyone?
  • In the live action movie, the potato-chip-related Moment of Awesome goes to L. At the climax of the first movie, Light pulls a particularly vicious and complicated plan with the dual aims of removing himself from suspicion and getting onto the Kira task force. This is apparently successful until L introduces himself to Light while very conspicuously and portentously eating a pack of chips of the same flavor and brand as Light used to conceal the mini-TV. The implicit message, that L knows exactly who Light is and what he did, just can't prove it yet, is not lost on Light who pulls a wonderful "oh shit" face. The fact that this is the only time in the entire series we see L eat anything other than sweets just adds to the awesomeness.
    • You see, he had to pick a brand of potato chips that was so horrible that there was no chance anyone else would grab them before he did. And in the movie at least, L caught it, and bought a bag of those exact same horrible chips.
  • There was something particularly awesome about L burning the Death Note. Even with Ryuk trying to convince him to use it, he still destroyed it, not wanting to end up like Light.
  • How about L (who we know has a bad spine at least in the film ) JUMPING onto a plane to rescue Maki from ecoterrorists with a bag of cures to the disease they let loose on his back?!
  • In the TV drama after L gets the SHIT kicked out of him by Light, leaving him shaking in pain on the ground and we think that Light has killed him via the death note, then he suddenly stands up if slightly shaky, and is chuckling mockingly, and Lights oh-fu... face really sells the moment.
  • During the Yotsuba investigation, the Task Force are informed that Eraldo Coil, the world's second best detective has been hired to track down L. L nonchalantly explains that he poses as both the second and third best detectives in the world, anticipating such a thing. He then has Aiber play the role of Coil, leading Yotsuba on the whole time and making them pay through the nose in the process.

  • When L tells him that his family is under suspicion, at first Soichiro is shocked. Then he insists on Do Wrong, Right and to install surveillance cameras everywhere. He's willing to entertain the possibility that someone in his family is Kira, except Sayu.
  • After Ukita dies of a heart attack after trying to break into Sakura TV, Soichiro sneaks out of the hospital where he was recovering from a heart attack commandeers an armored van and crashes through the doors of Sakura TV, forcing Demegawa to hand over the second Kira's tapes and stop the broadcast.
. Pulling out a revolver and scaring the crap out Demegawa was just icing on the cake.
  • During the first act of "Execution", a seemingly crazed Soichiro convinces Light and Misa (as well as much of the audience) that he's about to kill them both.
  • When Higuchi shoots him in Episode 23, he shrugs it off and keeps chasing him anyway.
  • His biggest moments comes from the second movie L manages to prove that Light is Kira, and Light goes on a Motive Rant on how the justice system can't protect people. Soichiro with Tranquil Fury and disgust agrees, the justice system is imperfect, because it's created by imperfect people:
    "But this legal system is the culmination of mankind's efforts to define justice. You've been complacent, and because of that you've taken the unforgivable path of taking other lives.
  • In his standoff with Mello, he ultimately refuses to use the Death Note, even to save his own life. It may be Honor Before Reason, but it shows how decent he is. He will not compromise his integrity, whatever the cost to himself.
  • For Soichiro's personal Moment of Awesome, what about his dying words? Seriously, even though he always tried to play Light's advocate in front of L, at the end, he revealed that even five years after L's death, he, as the only one in the team, always seriously considered the possibility that L was right and his own son is Kira.

  • Matsuda shooting Light multiple times, especially since he was the closest thing the task force had to a Kira supporter, the one most likely to be swayed by Light's Motive Rant, but instead shot him just after it. It's made better by how generally useless Matsuda had been until that moment, making him a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
  • Shooting the pen out of Light's hand. Nice shot, man. When Light tries to use his blood to write, Matsuda proceeds to blow Light away. He then screams "I'll kill him! I'LL KILL HIM! HE HAS TO DIE!!!" and rushes over to cap Light off and it takes three people to hold Matsuda back. A firm lesson to Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Matsuda's infiltration of Yotsuba. Just because he got caught doesn't mean it wasn't awesome. In fact, his fast thinking was really impressive. Really, any time he risks his life to help was awesome.
    • Not to mention him coming up with the story that he's there to "advertise" Misa as a spokesperson and was able to contact Watari to alert the team that he was in trouble. He knew exactly what to say and do in a life-threatening situation without anyone consulting him.
    • Matsuda manages to pretend to be drunk, do a handstand on the railing and fall onto the mattress L and Light had prepared for him so that they could fake his death. If anything had gone wrong, he might have ended up blowing his cover or actually falling to his death, but he pulled it off.
  • Don't forget manga-Matsuda hijacking Light's computer and instructing Soichiro to tell Mello that he's the new L to protect Light and Sayu.
  • What about Matsuda pretty much being Soichiro's Lancer during the raid on Mello's hideout? He pretty much owns the mafia thugs by shooting them in the kneecaps and then shooting the Death Note out of one's hand. He certainly Took a Level in Badass during those five years.
  • His breaking up Light and L's fight...yes, it follows with L calling him stupid, but his plan still WORKED!

  • Mello and Matt's suicidal plot to kidnap Takada, which they both knew they wouldn't survive. Especially since it was 'just as planned' as well.
    • "You won't shoot-" BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! It's awesome because, although Matt's death was so blunt and anticlimactic, he still got a remarkable fan following to show for it.
  • The entirety of Mello's stint in the mafia arguably counts, but a strong contender is when he blew up his building to avoid capture - while he was still inside the building. But then again, Mello is pretty much made up of moments of awesome.
  • When Mello had the Death Note loaded onto a frickin' missile, or when he got the President of the United States to not only rat out the SPK, but actually start funding Mello's mafia group, by threatening to mind control him into causing a nuclear apocalypse.

  • Near missed out on the loyalty because the fanbase still hated him for replacing L, but gets points by distracting a mob tearing his base apart by dropping millions of dollars outside.
  • Which also counts as a posthumous crowning moment for L - it was his money Near used.
  • Being the one to finally beat Light and then delivering a Kirk Summation to him about how Light is "just a murderer" and that his Death Note is "the deadliest weapon of mass murder in the history of mankind...while squishing a finger puppet of him. There's no arguing that Near won, and he won hard.
  • "Together, we are as able as L. Together, we can surpass L! And now... the Kira that L lost to... the Kira that L could never find concrete evidence against... we have cornered him." As he says this you can practically see the ghosts of L and Mello standing behind Near in his condemnation of Light.
  • While we're thinking of Near, how about in the manga when he defeats C-Kira without even having to deduce his/her identity, by simply calling them an 'abominable murderer' and guilting them into suicide?
  • Near's first conversation with Light. Never mind that, Near's first line to Light. Getting Light that worried using such a casual tone...excellent.
    Near: "L the Second, pleased to meet you."
  • Anything Near says to Light. Ever. Especially if he calls him "Kira" to his fa... well, computer-box-voicey-linky-thing. Take this exchange, when Light calls up Near to taunt him as Kira's followers have the SPK headquarters surrounded.
    Light: ''[with a smug look on his face] "Near, you must escape."
    Near: "Look who's talking, Kira."

    • There's another good moment for him in the last episode, when Near tells him not to go after the mortally wounded Light, but Aizawa refuses to follow that instruction. Also, that trick with the hotel room paper was quite good.
    • Aizawa has another one earlier in the finale; after Near has exposed Light as Kira and Light is absolutely freaking out, it's Aizawa who approaches him and basically tells him, "It's over." Think about that: Aizawa has just found out that Light is responsible for the greatest singlehanded homicide in history, and Light is royally pissed, and Aizawa still has the balls to step up and do something to calm him down. And it works, at least until one of the SPK freaks him out again.
  • Misa may be The Ditz, but she can be very sneaky. Not only does she one-up Kira by finding out his identity before he can find out hers, she one-ups both him and L later on by escaping from Mogi long enough to meet Yotsuba's Kira and confirm (making brilliant use of Rem) that he's the one with the Death Note. She then presents a tape of that conversation to the investigation team with well-earned pride.
  • Misora ends up being just a minor obstacle to the plot, but that didn't stop her from showing how intelligent she was. Not only did she dodge Light's first attempt to off her, but she also deduced information that no one on the SPK team, or her FBI agent fiance could. Information that would have led to Kira's capture by the end of the episode, had she not had 1/10 luck, just happening to have run into Light and Aizawa just happening to open his umbrella at the exact moment to avoid seeing them. 99/100 of the time, she would have been the one to catch Kira.
  • Near's lackey Gevanni gets one in the final episode: after Near realizes that the real Death Note is hidden in the bank, he has Gevanni make an absolutely perfect replica, complete with duplicating all the entries, in one night. And it was good enough that someone as detail-oriented as Mikami didn't notice.
    • That said, Matsuda theorized in the manga's end that Near wrote Mikami's name in the Death Note and set the conditions as him not realizing the change. This also explained why he died so soon after being imprisoned. It all fits, but is never proven right or wrong.
  • Teru Mikami. His introduction itself was purely awesome, by killing off Demegawa and his supporters in a very dramatic way, by using his pen like a sword.
    • THIS epic scene from the penultimate episode. Mikami unleashed awesome for every delete he said. Too bad it didn't kill Near though.
    • His countdown scene at the end of the anime. With both Near and Light's plans explained, everything is stake (for the characters and the viewer), and the powerful scene with the X-Kira standing like a referee between Light's team and the SPK, the series builds up a feeling of anticipation worthy of ending the story.
    • One particularly noteworthy moment that was sadly cut away in the anime was when after Light is shot by Matsuda and is out of options, he begs Mikami to write down everyone's names. Mikami, who is in handcuffs and doesn't have the real notebook, asks how he can possibly do that, finally seeing that the "God" he looked up to and worshipped is just a pathetic Smug Snake, and rightfully calls him out for deceiving him and labels him as scum.
  • The taking down of Higuchi is a crowning moment for the task force as a whole.
    • A special mention should go to Watari and his sniper rifle, though. Especially considering the fact he's not exactly the youngest person ever.
    • Aizawa and Ide deserve some kudos especially, as they secretly managed to organize a police barricade to stop the fleeing Higuchi. It was pretty epic watching Light and L realize who had come to back them up.
    • Death Note: ReLight 1, the first Death Note recap film, makes the entire sequence even more epic by setting the scene to Zetsubou Billy, the anime's second ending theme. The song plays from 1:37:43 to 1:41:25, and perfectly syncs with the movie.
    • Basically everything that happens after Higuchi turns on the TV is magnificent. From his increasing fury and panic as he's desperately trying to find out Matsuda's real name, to the brilliant chase scene with its climax set to awesome music, followed by the task force finally finding out about the notebook and the Shinigami... probably the peak of awesomeness of the series.
  • Possibly the most awesome moment in the entire series is in episode 11, when, with Misa!Kira threatening the entire city, and holding Sakura TV to ransom, Soichiro enters the station to get the tapes, as described above. However, he knows that the current Kira can kill having only seen a face, so if he tries to leave, there's a good chance he'll die. L calls Kitamura and requests the help of the police (who all bowed out of the Kira case). Kitamura is reluctant, until he sees that some of the police are already taking matters into their own hands, and getting killed as a result. He agrees with L's plan, and L calls Soichiro telling him that it's safe to leave. When Soichiro does leave, the entire police force has shown up to help him out. This is then followed by a Crowning Moment of Awesome for a random TV reporter, with the magnificent line:
    "There you have it; the police refuse to cooperate with Kira. Instead they are preparing to fight and, as much as I fear for my own life in saying so, this is right. And it must be done. Kira has become a threat to our very constitution, and as citizens, we must fight back. I am NHN's Golden news anchor, Koki Tanakabara."
    • Possibly the single most awesome moment for any person in the entire series. He has one line and yet he manages to be one of the most courageous people in the cast. Knowing that Kira kills people for disagreeing with him, knowing that Kira needs a face and name, he gives his name and face on television and publicly denounces Kira. He didn't die for saying that - Kira still had standards then, and the reporter was not in danger - but the reporter sure as heck didn't know that.
  • Soichiro is the most noble character in the show, but Rem was one of the few characters in the show gutsy enough to die for someone she cared about, and did so by taking down L, one of the most intelligent characters in the series and Watari single-handedly in one fell swoop. Mama Bear indeed.
    • This was just such an EPIC Crowning Moment of Awesome for Rem. The blackout, her flashing red eyes, and just...sheer EVILNESS from someone who I thought was one of the most benign characters in the show/manga. Watch it here and tell me this isn't epic! Spoiler! Even more epic, she did it KNOWING she was going to die and still managed to look epically PISSED OFF the entire time.
  • Ryuk. The entirety of Death Note happened because Ryuk was bored. The whole series, to him, must have been like some demented soap opera.
  • After spending the whole series eating apples and acting like a fool, Ryuk has a Moment of Awesome when he reminds viewers that he is still a friggin ''god of death'' by writing down Light's name in his Death Note. The same Death Note that he hasn't used until then in the series and was only mentioned in the first episode. Bonus points in the manga and film when he trolls Light into thinking he's going to kill the task force, then writes down Light's name right in front of him and even shows Light his own name written in the Death Note.
    Ryuk: No, Light. The one who's going to die... (Glowing Eyes of Doom)... will be you.
    • Made even more awesome because the ultimate reason for the death notes is to move life from humans to death gods. Light was shot, abandoned in a large warehouse, left to bleed to death, and had his hope and soul crushed. At best, he would have died in a couple days; at worst he would have killed himself. Unless someone can translate the final lifespan and prove this wrong, Ryuk gained nothing from that scene aside from the satisfaction of utterly kicking a complete monster of a dog.
      • In the anime, at least, Ryuk mentions that Light will probably be arrested and imprisoned, and "I don't want to lie around waiting," so he probably had a lot of time.
  • The epic Tennis Match between Light and L. Just... watching them play tennis while doing a cat-and-mouse psychoanalysis of the other with the creepy music playing easily makes it one of the best scenes.
  • Light and L getting into a fist fight, WHILE HANDCUFFED TO EACH OTHER.
    • It's also one for Matsuda. He's the one who figures out how to quickly stop the fight while the other task force members just watch.
    • The most awesome bit about that was L resisting Light's punch, before turning it on him with a kick.
  • The invasion of the Mafia's base.
  • Another fairly awesome moment occurred when Takada invites Misa out to dinner to brag about sleeping with her fiancee. Misa shows up, gets pissed, and basically tells Takada her days alive are numbered. Oh Misa, how accurate you were... Even Lidner seems to be on Misa's side.
    • From another perspective, Takada's way of responding to Misa in this scene was awesome. When Misa tells her that Kira is going to kill her, Takada practically chokes on her wine, fakes being upset and close to tears. But we see that she's actually laughing her ass off because she knows that Kira has promised to make her the Goddess of the new world, so Misa's words mean nothing to her. She then leaves the dinner with her head held high, looking more refined and mature than the childish and currently drunk Misa.
  • The Moment of Awesome in the entire franchise is the original handling of Light's complete and utter defeat at the hands on L's successors, Matsuda growing a beard by shooting Light, and Ryuk's use of his notebook (in front of everyone), with the reveal that after all the things Light did, all the people he's murdered and manipulated, he was really just a sniveling coward who in his last moments screams "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" to deaf ears.
  • This scene. Just... LOOK at it! note 
    • The anime has been dubbed in 11 languages besides the original Japanese, and the Italian dub of this particular scene is often considered the crowning moment of the series across the board. Why is this so awesome? The actor got it in one take at the age of 18.
  • Namikawa tricking Light in the Yotsuba arc. It's honestly pretty cool seeing an ordinary person outsmart one of the show's resident geniuses.
  • Mogi gets one simply by refusing to answer Near's questions. Near, who hates losing just as much as L, eventually gives up.
  • Let's give Kira number three, Higuchi, some credit. He may not be that smart. He may not have much style. But when cornered by multiple members of the investigation team, all wearing masks, he proves that he's not only the only Kira practical enough to pack a gun as a back-up, but a fast-enough Quick Draw to pull it out and hit Mr. Yagami, while Wedy has her own weapon trained on him.
  • Throughout the show, everyone who dies of a heart attack brough on by the Death Note keels over as soon as it takes effect (sometimes in the middle of speaking). When Watari's name is written by Rem, the old man somehow holds on long enough to carry out L's instruction and wipe all data from their system. Had he failed to do so, Light would have presumably learned about the existence of the Wammy houses soon after and been able to eliminate all of L's potential successors before they could ever become a threat to him.